Riding a three-game losing streak heading into Friday’s game with the Washington Wizards, the Los Angeles Lakers saw the return of Jordan Hill, Steve Nash and Nick Young. Despite the addition of the healthy bodies, the Lakers were unable to put an end to their losing streak.
The Lakers missed easy opportunities and the Wizards made them pay with early 3-pointers from Bradley Beal and John Wall, and easy baskets in the paint to jump out to an early 15-6 lead. The Lakers struggles were epitomized on one possession when Pau Gasol missed three put-backs. The Wizards capitalized on Laker turnovers and blown defensive assignments to hold a 12-point lead at the end of the quarter.
Xavier Henry and Young attempted to get the Lakers back in the game, but defensive lapses prevented them getting close. The Wizards held a double-digit lead through the second quarter and led by as many as 16 points. Hill provided a boost for the Lakers off the bench, finishing the half with nine points and nine rebounds. John Wall was one of three Wizards to score 11 points in the first half and he led the team with nine assists as the Wizards had a 58-47 lead going into halftime.
Hill’s energetic play in the first half earned him the start in the third quarter, but the Lakers offense continued to struggle while the Wizards picked up where they left off and opened the half on a 10-3 run. Trailing by 21 points, the Lakers put together a six-point spurt to get within 15 points but then had three consecutive possessions that ended with a turnover. The Lakers used an 18-6 run to close out the quarter to cut their deficit down to six points.
The Wizards used a quick start in the fourth quarter to combat the momentum the Lakers generated at the end of the third and regained control of the game. Young made a 3-pointer to get the Lakers within eight points, but the Wizards responded with an 11-4 run. Despite strong play from Nash, who logged 19 minutes and handed out 11 assists, and a combined 42 points from Young and Jodie Meeks, the Lakers were unable to overcome Wall’s 28 points and 14 assists, and fell to the Wizards, 117-107.
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